Laser tattoo removal as an ablation process monitored by acoustical and optical methods

Cencič, Boris; Gregorčič, Peter; Možina, Janez; Jezeršek, Matija
July 2013
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing;Jul2013, Vol. 112 Issue 1, p65
Academic Journal
Strength of the laser-tissue interaction varies even within a single tattoo because of the inhomogeneous distribution of the tattoo pigment embedded in the skin. A monitoring system is therefore developed for simultaneous monitoring of the laser tattoo removal process based on acoustical and optical techniques. A laser-beam-deflection probe is used for measuring the acoustical signals accompanying the breakdown, and a CCD camera captures the level and the spatial distribution of the plasma radiation. Using these methods we examine the degree of excitation-pulse absorption within the pigment and the degree of the structural changes of the skin. A Nd:YAG laser with a top-hat beam profile, designed for tattoo removal, is used as the excitation source in our experiments. Special attention is given to structural changes in the skin, which depend on the applied fluence. Tattoo removal with multiple pulses is also analyzed. Experiments are made in vitro (skin phantoms) and ex vivo (marking tattoos on the pig skin). The presented results are important for the understanding and optimization of the process used in medical therapies.


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